A website is a key marketing tool for your legal practise. It’s more important than ever to have a good website, as law is changing from brick-and-mortar locations to being a digital service. Providing high-quality legal support is now essential and bespoke approaches are necessary. However, developing a good law firm website takes time and there are a number of key steps you should follow in order to achieve this goal. To ensure you have the best possible opportunity to set your law firm up for success, you should account for the following factors:
By approaching your website from a critical perspective, you can frame it around who you want to attract to your website. The biggest mistake any law firm when designing their website is not taking a customer-first approach, as this will not fulfil the needs of clients and encourage them to convert.
If you are a lawyer who specialises in a particular area of practise, this will be easy. If you have existing social media or a website, you can use data analytics to hone in and focus on the most popular topics. You should prioritise the following 3 questions when you are developing the content and structure for your website:
- What does a typical client look like? This includes details about their background, how legally educated they are, how they discovered your services and how they will engage with you.
- How do they feel? Depending on what the nature of your legal service is, they may be angry, frustrated, upset or confused. By being able to reassure them that you know what you are talking about, you’ll create immense credibility for yourself and for your legal practise.
- What do they want from you? Although this sounds bizarre, if you can predict what actions they are looking to take, you can tailor your website around this activity and provide a clear routemap to achieve these objectives.
Check and Double-Check
Whether you are setting up a new website from scratch, or refreshing your law firm’s existing website, it’s imperative to make sure you get any facts right. Information about legislative agreements, laws or other critical junctures should be checked and double-checked. Law is a traditional service and people will expect a standard of grammar and spelling that would not necessarily be applied to other sites.
Furthermore, it’s good practise to regularly review your search engine optimisation, ensuring your alt-tags, meta-tags and meta-descriptions accurately reflect page content and that all links are working correctly. If you update your page, you should update your SEO too.
Consider the Browsing Process
Once someone lands on your website, it’s your job now to convert them to choosing your legal service. Whatever content you provide on your website, in whatever form should help in achieving this goal. Your internal pages can be detail-oriented, but make sure you don’t go overboard on legal jargon as this can put people off. There should also always be a clear and obvious call to action or next step for any user to take. For law firms, this will most likely revolve around encouraging an enquiry or getting a call/meeting booked in. However, it can also be applied to other conversions such as signing up to a mailing list.
It sounds obvious but one of the biggest barriers that law firms create for themselves is making their website too complex. Although they may be familiar with some of the more intrinsic aspects of legal apparatus, the average user is not. Confusing and comprehensive landing pages can only muddy the water further.
You should plan your services around meeting the needs of all your users. Clear and obvious buttons to showcase where to go are essential. Use a clear and easy-to-understand font, and a colour scheme that accurately reflects and showcases your brand.
For absolute security, you should engage with a number of example prospect clients and ask them to complete basic tasks, such as finding contact information, booking an appointment or finding your social media details. Make sure that you let people of all ages and abilities test your site to make it as widely accessible as possible.
In the past 5 years, mobile and tablet usage of internet browsers has become extremely commonplace. It now outweighs desktop use on average and as a result, search engines have started to prioritise taking a mobile-first approach. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the best law firm websites are the ones already optimising their website to be able to account for both desktop and remote users.
It is imperative to ensure that your content is well-organised and follows a clear logical order on the mobile screen. This may require some adjustment, as the sizes are vastly different compared to desktop. Moreover, images need to be uploaded to scale properly for the right device to ensure that they load correctly and do not slow down your site. If in doubt, you can use various third-party tools to help you compress and format images correctly.
Clients can come from any and all backgrounds, and resultantly, law firm websites have a duty of care to ensure that anyone can access their services. Some of these measures are extremely simple, but can be hugely beneficial:
- Contrast-checking text colour vs background, and changing colours if necessary to ensure you account for anyone who is colour-blind
- Setting up technical considerations for people using alternatives to the traditional mouse
- Ensuring your site content can still be viewed under screen readers for people with low vision, including options for enlarging key details and removing styling.
Evaluate your accessibility by turning off all your site styling and focusing on the text content. This will allow you to arrange everything clearly and neatly and will make it much easier to implement these measures.
Final Thoughts For A Law Firm Website
This is by no means a definitive list when it comes to managing the development for your law firm’s website. You’ve still got to think clearly about the essential content and provide it in a way that is easy to understand, clear to digest and most importantly promotes positive action. You also need to take further measures to help ensure your law firm website will rank well too. This can be done through a variety of search engine optimisation tools and guidelines.
For more information on how Boss Digital can support your law firm, get in touch with us today.